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This is the "Canon EOS Speedlite 270EX II" flash, a compact solution for more powerful or creative flash on your DSLR which can be used off camera as a slave or on your camera hotshoe.
Product Feature include:
- Guide Number of 27 (m/ISO 100)
- AF illumination
- 2x AA Batteries
- Wireless slave option for using off camera
- A compact and light weight design
- A maximum recycling time of 3.9 seconds
There are a number of advantages of having an external flash over your camera's pop up flash. It raises the light (flash) higher from the camera meaning that the flash effect isn't as harsh and gives more natural results. They have a higher output and therefore offer more power while also offering more control. You can also 'bounce' the flash off other surfaces such as the ceiling and walls for effect and better lighting.
Build quality is excellent and no different the many other well construct canon products and accessories. It's not quite as small as you may think from the photo (it might be worth while looking at a photo of it attached to a camera body for comparison), but it is still small enough to fit nicely into deep pockets or camera bags.
When it's attached to your hotshoe it is very secure and you can even lock it in place with a switch for added security in case your running around with it attached.
The flash is easy to use and if your not sure about the settings then just let the camera and flash control it automatically. It does make a different for your photography. From portraits to macro it produces a more control and balanced flash. It's extra power also comes in handy for tricky low light conditions when you can use the flash instead of turning up the ISO.
It's not as large or powerful or feature packed as some of it's bigger brothers, but all this works to it's advantage. It's a reasonable cheap solution if you need an external flash or want a slave unit or two.
Other alternatives include the older but almost as good and cheaper "Canon Speedlite 270EX" or if your if the market for something more towards the top end is the "Canon Speedlite 600EX"
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)